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[522] limited force I will do all I can to meet him; that will be the battle-field, if I can carry forward sufficient force, leaving troops enough to secure the safety of this place (Vicksburg). Reinforcements are arriving very slowly, only fifteen hundred having arrived as yet. I urgently ask that more be sent, also that three thousand cavalry be at once sent to operate on this line. I urge this as a positive necessity. The enemy largely outnumber me, and I am obliged to hold back a large force at the ferries on Big Black, lest he cross and take this place. I am also compelled to keep considerable force on either flank of Vicksburg, out of supporting distance.

The same dispatch was also sent to his Excellency President Davis on the same date. The divisions of Major-Generals Loring and Stevenson moved from the line they had occupied between Warrenton and Big Black Bridge to Edwards's Depot, General Stevenson being directed to keep well closed up on the rear of General Loring's column. On the evening of the 12th I moved my headquarters to Bovina, to be nearer the scene of active operations. The command arrived at Edwards's Depot on the 13th, and was placed in position, covering all approaches from the south and east in the following order, viz.: Bowen on the right, Loring in the centre, and Stevenson on the left. This position was occupied from the night of the 13th until the morning of the 15th.

On the 13th the following dispatch was sent to General Johnston:

General Forney reports, from Vicksburg this morning, four transports loaded with troops, arrived at Young's Point this morning. Five regiments and a battery passed down by Brown and Johnson's. Wagon-trains continue to pass back and forth. My reinforcements will be very small, and arrive very slowly. If possible, Port Hudson should be reenforced. I have been forced to draw largely from there. I have no major-general to command brigades arriving in

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